April 30, 2020 – With the enhanced community quarantine still in effect in many areas, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) notes why e-payment services are important during this pandemic.
With the limits imposed on the movement of people and activities that can be undertaken during ECQ, customers can shift to e-payments, which can allow them to easily transfer money to anyone as long as the receiver has an account in a participating institution. For example, if person A who has an account at BPI wishes to transfer money to person B, but person B does not have a bank account, person A can opt to send the money via LBC through Coins.ph. This is made possible because of existing agreements between financial institutions as well as their membership to payment systems like InstaPay and PESONet.
Because people go out to pay their bills, atleast that part will be taken care of by e-payments, allowing anyone to pay at the comforts of their homes through mobile banking accounts or e-wallets. This reduces the need to go out and prevent the risk from face-to-face and over-the-counter transactions.
BSP noted that the volume of check payments and ATM withdrawals have also decreased, reflecting the effect of ECQ on people’s movement.
BSP highlighted InstaPay and PESONet, 2 electronic fund transfer (EFT) services offered by the central bank to BSP-supervised financial institutions for their account holders. Fees in using these systems are waived during ECQ. InstaPay can transfer money in real-time while PESONet can be used for large volume transactions.
In October 2019, Cashless transactions in the Philippines are increasing, according to a survey by the Better Than Cash Alliance (BTCA).
In the Philippines, initiatives such as fintech are being mobilized to drive financial inclusion. E-wallets partner with last-mile remittance outlets not just to reach far-flung areas but also to provide financial access to people who cannot get the services of banks because of the lack of required amount of money for deposits and verifiable identity. For example, Paymaya, Coins.ph, and GCash have a range of partners – from convenience stores to pawnshops – for sending and receiving of cash.
Read the BSP press release here.
This article is published on BitPinas: BSP Notes the Importance of E-Payments During ECQ